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Mario Diaz-Balart on Crime

Republican Representative (FL-25)

 


Voted YES on enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes.

Congressional Summary:Adopts the definition of "hate crime" as set forth in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994: a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person. Provides technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or other assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of hate crimes, including financial grant awards.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. JOHN CONYERS (D, MI-14):This bill expands existing Federal hate crimes law to groups who are well-known targets for bias-based violence--they are sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability. These crimes of violence are directed not just at those who are directly attacked; they are targeting the entire group with the threat of violence.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LAMAR SMITH (R, TX-21): Every year thousands of violent crimes are committed out of hate, but just as many violent crimes, if not more, are motivated by something other than hate--greed, jealousy, desperation or revenge, just to name a few. An individual's motivation for committing a violent crime is usually complex and often speculative. Every violent crime is deplorable, regardless of its motivation. That's why all violent crimes should be vigorously prosecuted. Unfortunately, this bill undermines one of the most basic principles of our criminal justice system--equal justice for all. Under this bill, justice will no longer be equal. Justice will now depend on the race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected status of the victim. It will allow different penalties to be imposed for the same crime. This is the real injustice.

Reference: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act; Bill HR.1913 ; vote number 2009-H223 on Apr 2, 2009

Voted YES on expanding services for offenders' re-entry into society.

H.R.1593: Second Chance Act of 2007: Community Safety Through Recidivism Prevention or the Second Chance Act (Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass). To reauthorize the grant program for reentry of offenders into the community in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, and to improve reentry planning and implementation.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. CONYERS: Some 650,000 men and women are leaving the Federal and State prisons each year. While the vast majority of the prisoners are committed to abiding by the law and becoming productive members of society, they often encounter the same pressures & temptations that they faced before prison. More than two-thirds of them are arrested for new crimes within 3 years of their release. This exacts a terrible cost in financial terms as well as in human terms. The Second Chance Act will help provide these men and women with the training, counseling and other support needed to help them obtain & hold steady jobs; to kick their drug and alcohol habits; rebuild their families; and deal with the many other challenges that they face in their efforts to successfully rejoin society.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. GOHMERT: The programs that are sought to be renewed are ones we don't have information on how successful they were. I can tell you from my days as a judge, there was some anecdotal evidence that it looked like faith-based programs did a better job of dramatically reducing recidivism. In addition:

Reference: Second Chance Act; Bill HR1593 ; vote number 2007-1083 on Nov 13, 2007

Harsher sentencing for "pill mill" operators.

Diaz-Balart signed Pill Mill Crackdown Act

    The Pill Mill Crackdown Act of 2011: Amends the Controlled Substances Act to:
  1. double the term of imprisonment and triple the fine for the prohibited distribution of a schedule II or schedule III controlled substance by the operator of a pill mill,
  2. increase the penalties for such operator distribution of a controlled substance to a person under age 21 from twice to thrice the maximum punishment or term of supervised release authorized, and
  3. exclude such operator distribution from the applicability of provisions authorizing an alternative fine of not more than twice the gross profits or other proceeds derived by a defendant from a drug offense.
      Expresses the sense of Congress that such prohibited operator distribution is a violation for which certain property is subject to forfeiture.
      • Requires the proceeds from disposition of such property to be used for controlled substance monitoring programs in the states and for block grants to states for community mental health services and for prevention and treatment of substance abuse.
      • Changes the classification of specified quantities of dihydrocodeinone from a schedule III to a schedule II controlled substance.
      Source: H.R.1065 11-HR1065 on Mar 14, 2011

      Death penalty for killing police officers.

      Diaz-Balart signed death penalty for killing police officers

      Congressional Summary: Makes the killing or attempted killing of a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or other first responder an aggravating factor in death penalty determinations [when] the defendant killed or attempted to kill a person who is authorized by law:

      • to engage in or supervise the prevention, detention, investigation, or prosecution, or the incarceration of any person for any criminal violation of law;
      • to apprehend, arrest, or prosecute an individual for any criminal violation of law; or
      • to be a firefighter or other first responder.
      • And that the person was killed--
      • while he or she was engaged in the performance of his or her official duties;
      • because of the performance of his or her official duties; or
      • because of his or her status as a public official or employee.

      Opposing argument: [Sen. Bernie Sanders, Oct. 13, 2015]: "Black lives matter. The African American community knows that on any given day some innocent person like Sandra Bland can get into a car, and three days later she's dead in jail. We need to combat institutional racism from top to bottom, and we need major reforms in a broken criminal justice system. I intend to make sure people have education and jobs rather than jail cells."

      Opposing argument: [ACLU of Louisiana, July 7, 2015]: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill into law that makes targeting a police officer a hate crime. Passage of such bills is a top priority for a national organization called Blue Lives Matter, which was formed in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. [A video captured] "police killing a black man who was minding his own business," says the director of ACLU-LA. But it was the civil rights of police officers that Edwards was concerned about, as if theirs were being routinely violated: "I'm not aware of any evidence that police officers have been victimized that would justify giving them special protection."

      Source: H.R.814 & S.2034 16-HR0814 on Feb 9, 2015

      First step: reduce recidivism & mass incarceration.

      Diaz-Balart voted YEA First Step Act

      Congressional Summary:

      • TITLE I--RECIDIVISM REDUCTION: establish a risk and needs assessment system to evaluate the recidivism risk of prisoners; to guide housing assignments; and to reward participation in recidivism reduction programs.
      • TITLE II--BUREAU OF PRISONS SECURE FIREARMS STORAGE: allow federal correctional officers to securely store and carry concealed firearms on BOP premises outside the security perimeter of a prison.
      • TITLE III--RESTRAINTS ON PREGNANT PRISONERS PROHIBITED: limits the use of restraints on federal prisoners who are pregnant or in postpartum recovery.
      • TITLE IV--SENTENCING REFORM: reduces the enhanced mandatory minimum prison terms for certain repeat drug offenses.

      Opposing press release from Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-1):: The reform sentencing laws in this bill may compromise the safety of our communities. Criminals convicted of violent crimes would have the opportunity to achieve 'low risk' status and become eligible for early release. California already has similar laws in place--Propositions 47 and 57--which have hamstrung law enforcement and caused a significant uptick in crime.

      Supporting press release from Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10):: S. 756 establishes a new system to reduce the risk that [federal prisoners] will commit crimes once they are released. Critically, S. 756 would not only implement these reforms to our prison system, but it also takes a crucial first step toward addressing grave concerns about our sentencing laws, which have for years fed a national crisis of mass incarceration. The bill is a 'first step' that demonstrates that we can work together to make the system fairer in ways that will also reduce crime and victimization.

      Legislative outcome: Concurrence Passed Senate, 87-12-1, on Dec. 18, 2018; Concurrence Passed House 358-36-28, Dec. 20, 2018; President Trump signed, Dec. 21, 2018

      Source: Congressional vote 18-S756 on Dec 20, 2018

      Rated 77% by the NAPO, indicating a tough-on-crime stance.

      Diaz-Balart scores 77% by the NAPO on crime & police issues

      Ratings by the National Association of Police Organizations indicate support or opposition to issues of importance to police and crime. The organization's self-description: "The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) is a coalition of police units and associations from across the United States. NAPO was organized for the purpose of advancing the interests of America's law enforcement officers through legislative advocacy, political action, and education.

      "Increasingly, the rights and interests of law enforcement officers have been the subject of legislative, executive, and judicial action in the nationís capital. NAPO works to influence the course of national affairs where law enforcement interests are concerned. The following list includes examples of NAPOís accomplishments:

      • Enactment of the Fair Sentencing Act
      • Enactment of the National AMBER Alert Act
      • Enactment of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act
      • Enactment of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act
      • Enactment of the Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act (Right to Carry Legislation)

      VoteMatch scoring for the NAPO ratings is as follows:

      • 0%-50%: soft on crime and police issues;
      • 50%-75%: mixed record on crime and police issues;
      • 75%-100%: tough on crime and police issues.
      Source: NAPO ratings on Congress and politicians 2014_NAPO on Dec 31, 2014

      2021-22 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Crime: Mario Diaz-Balart on other issues:
      FL Gubernatorial:
      Adam Putnam
      Alexander Snitker
      Andrew Gillum
      Bill Nelson
      Charlie Crist
      Gwen Graham
      Nikki Fried
      Philip Levine
      Rick Scott
      Ron DeSantis
      Wayne Messam
      FL Senatorial:
      Bill Nelson
      Carlos Lopez-Cantera
      Charlie Crist
      David Jolly
      Edward Janowski
      Marco Rubio
      Pam Keith
      Patrick Murphy
      Rick Scott
      Ron DeSantis
      Incoming Republican Freshmen 2021:
      AL-1: Jerry Carl(R)
      AL-2: Barry Moore(R)
      CA-8: Jay Obernolte(R)
      CA-50: Darrell Issa(R)
      CO-3: Lauren Boebert(R)
      FL-3: Kat Cammack(R)
      FL-15: Scott Franklin(R)
      FL-19: Byron Donalds(R)
      GA-9: Andrew Clyde(R)
      GA-14: Marjorie Taylor Greene(R)
      IA-2: Mariannette Miller-Meeks(R)
      IA-4: Randy Feenstra(R)
      IL-15: Mary Miller(R)
      IN-5: Victoria Spartz(R)
      KS-1: Tracey Mann(R)
      KS-2: Jake LaTurner(R)
      LA-5: Luke Letlow(R)
      MI-3: Peter Meijer(R)
      MI-10: Lisa McClain(R)
      MT-0: Matt Rosendale(R)
      NC-11: Madison Cawthorn(R)
      NM-3: Teresa Leger Fernandez(D)
      NY-2: Andrew Garbarino(R)
      NY-22: Claudia Tenney(R)
      OR-2: Cliff Bentz(R)
      PR-0: Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon(R)
      TN-1: Diana Harshbarger(R)
      TX-4: Pat Fallon(R)
      TX-11: August Pfluger(R)
      TX-13: Ronny Jackson(R)
      TX-17: Pete Sessions(R)
      TX-22: Troy Nehls(R)
      TX-23: Tony Gonzales(R)
      TX-24: Beth Van Duyne(R)
      UT-1: Blake Moore(R)
      VA-5: Bob Good(R)
      WI-5: Scott Fitzgerald(R)
      Incoming Democratic Freshmen 2021:
      CA-53: Sara Jacobs(D)
      GA-5: Nikema Williams(D)
      GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux(D)
      HI-2: Kai Kahele(D)
      IL-3: Marie Newman(D)
      IN-1: Frank Mrvan(D)
      MA-4: Jake Auchincloss(D)
      MO-1: Cori Bush(D)
      NC-2: Deborah Ross(D)
      NC-6: Kathy Manning(D)
      NY-15: Ritchie Torres(D)
      NY-16: Jamaal Bowman(D)
      NY-17: Mondaire Jones(D)
      WA-10: Marilyn Strickland(D)

      Republican takeovers as of 2021:
      CA-21: David Valadao(R) defeated T.J. Cox(D)
      CA-39: Young Kim(R) defeated Gil Cisneros(D)
      CA-48: Michelle Steel(R) defeated Harley Rouda(D)
      FL-26: Carlos Gimenez(R) defeated Debbie Mucarsel-Powell(D)
      FL-27: Maria Elvira Salazar(R) defeated Donna Shalala(D)
      IA-1: Ashley Hinson(R) defeated Abby Finkenauer(D)
      MN-7: Michelle Fischbach(R) defeated Collin Peterson(D)
      NM-2: Yvette Herrell(R) defeated Xochitl Small(D)
      NY-11: Nicole Malliotakis(R) defeated Max Rose(D)
      OK-5: Stephanie Bice(R) defeated Kendra Horn(D)
      SC-1: Nancy Mace(R) defeated Joe Cunningham(D)
      UT-4: Burgess Owens(R) defeated Ben McAdams(D)

      Special Elections 2021-2022:
      FL-20: replacing Alcee Hastings (D, SPEL Jan. 2022)
      LA-2: Troy Carter (R, April 2021)
      LA-5: Julia Letlow (R, March 2021)
      NM-1: Melanie Stansbury (D, June 2021)
      OH-11: replacing Marcia Fudge (D, SPEL Nov. 2021)
      OH-15: replacing Steve Stivers (R, SPEL Nov. 2021)
      TX-6: replacing Ron Wright (R, SPEL July 2021)
      Abortion
      Budget/Economy
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      Page last updated: Oct 24, 2021